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A Female Winemaking Revolution Breathes New Life Into Hungary's Historic Vineyards

For centuries, the region of Tokaj in Hungary was known for its intensely sweet dessert wines. Now female winemakers are making waves in what was formerly a man’s world, producing more elegant wines that appeal to a European palate.

BODROGKERESZTUR — In centuries past, the story went that the best wines in the world were made in France, Germany and Hungary. Then, in the 20th century, two brutal world wars redrew the map of Europe. Of the three traditional winemaking nations, only one remained: France, now joined by Italy and Spain.

The world order of wine was shaken up, and so locals here in Tokaj, Hungary’s best-known winemaking region, had to find a new approach to make a place for itself on the international market. The region in the northeast of the country was traditionally famous for its intensely sweet, expensive dessert wines.

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How Viktor Orban Weighs On Ethnic Hungarians In Ukraine

A visit to the Ukrainian region of Transcarpathia, which borders Hungary and is home to about 150,000 Hungarian-Ukrainians, where the pro-Russian stance of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is wreaking havoc.

TRANSCARPATHIA — Across the border in Hungary, the government-controlled mass media repeats Russian propaganda about the war in Ukraine and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's excuses for voting against Ukrainian initiatives at the European Union and NATO.

But here in the Ukrainian region of Transcarpathia — which borders Hungary and is home to about 150,000 Hungarian-Ukrainians — Budapest’s policy also has a direct effect. The tenacity with which Budapest fights for the rights of Hungarians in Transcarpathia is reminiscent of the Kremlin’s efforts to ‘protect’ Russian-speaking Ukrainians. The one key difference is that Budapest has not gone to war.

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Ukrainian media site Ukrainska Pravda traveled to Transcarpathia in search of answers to a number of essential questions. Is the Hungarian language and culture really suppressed in Ukraine? How large is Budapest’s influence there? And how does the region rid itself of imperialistic markers (both Soviet and Hungarian)?

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What The West Gets Wrong About Orbán's Stance On Russia

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán appears to be courting Vladimir Putin, and turning his back on the EU. There is a clear strategy behind his rhetoric — but it is not any personal affinity for Russia.


BERLIN — In its latest "public information campaign" just in time for the first anniversary of Russia's attack on Ukraine, Hungary's government portrays its own country as a peacekeeping power fighting against the Western war machine.

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This rhetoric, along with continued attacks on the "Brussels superstate," are prime examples of pure Viktor Orbán propaganda, which Hungary's prime minister has been peddling for years.

Orbán's pro-Russian stance, however, is often misunderstood. It is purely strategic, not personal, aimed at weakening European support for Ukraine for other reasons. It is a relatively new position vis a vis Moscow, an expression of his self-serving political style and his willingness to take risks to strengthen Hungary's position on the international stage.

Ultimately, Orbán is not pro-Russian; he is simply pro-Orbán.

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This Happened—November 11: The War To End All Wars Ends

After Austria-Hungary blamed Serbia for the assassination of Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand, a series of diplomatic failures transformed a relatively inconsequential tragedy into the catalyst for two large Alliances of world powers to go to war in the largest conflict the world had ever seen. On this day, after 20 million deaths, World War I ends.

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Stanislav Zhelikhovskyi

Viktor Orbán May Be Far More Vulnerable Than You Think

Orbán's Fidesz party won an unprecedented fourth term last April. However, even as the prime minister consolidates his power, he faces growing opposition at home. Teachers are protesting, inflation is rising, and Orbán's blaming his favorite target, the EU, is wearing thin.

October 23 is the anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, and this year thousands of people marched through Budapest to protest the current government of Viktor Orbán. They demanded higher salaries for teachers' and called for curbs on inflation, not unlike demonstrations elsewhere around the world.

But Orbán's Hungary is its own singular reality, even if the world is still trying to understand the four-time prime minister's ultimate intentions. It is not the first time he has faced protests, but current efforts to calm the waters have done little to calm the waters.

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Philip Volkmann-Schluck

Bulgaria And Hungary: Risks Of A Pro-Russian Alliance Inside The EU

Bulgaria had sworn off Russian gas imports, but then its government collapsed. Now pro-Russian politicians are in power, which for the European Union means there is much more at stake than just energy supply.

The letter Z, a symbol of support for Putin’s war in Ukraine, has appeared on Bulgarian government buildings in Sofia. Last week, demonstrators fixed a Z in black tape to the entrance of the Ministry of Energy’s headquarters.

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They were protesting their government’s announcement that it would reopen negotiations with Russia about importing gas – although Bulgaria had declared public support for Kyiv and subsequently stopped all Russian imports. “Putin’s gas is a trap,” one of the placards reads.

These scenes have been growing more common in the Bulgarian capital since the reformist government led by Prime Minister Kiril Petkov was ousted last month in a no-confidence vote. Petkov had pledged to tackle corruption and taken a strong stance against Russia's invasion. But his coalition government fell after just seven months in office when an ally quit.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War
Irina Subota

Winter Is Coming: Breaking Down Russian Propaganda Across Europe

Hit by EU sanctions, Russia is working hard to spread its own propaganda through neighboring countries. A new study breaks down exactly what that disinformation campaign is saying — and whether it's working.


KYIV — One of the main narratives of Russian propaganda in recent years can be summed up as: "Russia is a global power and the West must respect it." Yet since the beginning of the invasion, the European Union has imposed a series of sanctions against Russia.

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In light of this clash, Moscow's propaganda in the West has taken four different and distinct lines: "The future of the EU will be cold and hungry...," "the EU shot itself in the foot...," "the U.S. economy is also suffering, and is now looking for ways to resume business with Russia...," and "sanctions do not harm Russia, they only make it stronger."

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Laura Valentina Cortés Sierra, Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, McKenna Johnson, Emma Albright and Bertrand Hauger

LGBTQ+ International: South African Fatwa, “Sims” Update — And The Week’s Other Top News

Controversy in Morocco, video games news from the U.S. and Japan, Russian activists ... and plenty of other news.

Welcome to Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International. We bring you up-to-speed each week on the latest news on everything LGBTQ+ — a topic that you may follow closely at home, but can now see from different places and perspectives around the world. Discover the latest news from all corners of the planet. All in one smooth scroll!

Featuring, this week:

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Taylin Aroche

Viktor Orbán, Putin's Trojan Horse In Europe

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is trying to keep the EU and NATO happy without upsetting Vladimir Putin. The war in Ukraine has upped the stakes in Hungary, where tense elections are just a few weeks away.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been engaging in political contortionism in recent weeks to keep his country in the sphere of the EU and NATO without provoking Vladimir Putin. Less than a month before the elections in which Orbán and his Fidesz party will try to keep a majority against a unified opposition, the Hungarian leader maintains his camaraderie with Putin in the midst of the war that is ravaging Ukraine.

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Budapest yesterday authorized the parking and passage of the alliance’s forces through its territory but prohibited the transport of lethal weapons and equipment to Ukraine.

In an extensive official statement, Orbán made it clear between the lines that he does not want to be an enemy of Russia and Putin. “We have to look at this conflict not with American, French or German eyes, we have to look at it with Hungarian eyes. And from the Hungarian point-of-view, the most important thing in this conflict is the peace and security of the Hungarians. To do this, we must stay out of the war." In reference to his administration's denial of arms transit, he declared: "Against those who use these weapons, we will be their enemies."

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A Weird 2021 : Our Favorite "What The World" Stories

Tales of odds and ends from deep inside the world's newspapers....

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Gado Alzouma

Why Africa Has So Few Nobel Prizes In The Sciences

Even as it celebrates this year's literature prize going to Tanzanian author Abdulrazak Gurnah, Africa is again completely absent from the list of Nobel winners in science. In research as elsewhere, money is the key.

Nobel Prize recipients from around the world have been celebrating their achievements this month at their respective award ceremonies. But besides Tanzanian Abdulrazak Gurnah, winner in the literature category, the African continent was largely absent from the awards — most notably in the science categories. But this is nothing new.

With the notable exception of Egypt, which boasts a Nobel Prize in chemistry, and South Africa, which has five in chemistry, physiology and medicine, over the years Africa only has obtained Nobel Prizes for literature or peace. By comparison, the United States leads the way with 296 laureates, followed by Germany and Japan, with 94 and 25 awards respectively.

Many would be tempted to find the explanation for this poor African performance in a lack of "predisposition for science" or "scientific spirit" among our people. This is not the case: The capacity to produce scientific breakthroughs and to make discoveries does not lie in any "superior intelligence," in a supposed "genius," in alleged "genetic predispositions," or in the culture of the people.

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Dominique Moïsi

How Europe Can Avoid Viktor Orbán's Trap, And Save Its Soul

If Europe is to stand firm against Viktor Orbán's illiberal and anti-establishment policies, scapegoating him or excluding him from the EU risks consolidating his hold over his fellow citizens


PARIS — "Tact in audacity," Jean Cocteau famously said, "is knowing how far you can go without going too far." By enacting a repressive and retrograde law on homosexuality, has Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán gone too far? Or is he setting a trap for us by deliberately choosing a topic that is so emotionally charged in our society? He may present himself as the vanguard of a counter-revolution in the area of morality.

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